May 11, 2004

Elder, on Cinema

WE WERE PLEASED to learn recently that we are not alone in holding embittered, misanthropic thoughts about the state of modern film. Hence, we would present a portion of a column from The Scotsman's Kirk Elder, who has written at length about the issue. We note with a bit of awe that Mr Elder has considerable fortitude in this regard -- how anyone could stomach sitting through one, much less three, truly horrible movies is beyond us. But then we are only one-third Scots.

Mr Elder writes:

But one should never rush to judgment, and since my last memory of going to the cinema was to see Chariots of Fire, in which I appeared momentarily as a spear-carrier, I decided to make a return visit.

It was not a happy experiment. The once-grand cinema has been carved into four small auditoriums, and instead of an informative newsreel, patrons are now bombarded with advertisements for mobile telephones.

I managed to endure three cinematic nightmares before my toothy gnashing caused the management to unload the ejector seat. These were 50 First Dates, Scooby-Doo 2 and Taking Lives. The first of these featured romantic nitwits in Hawaii, the second a computerised dog, and the third a policewoman who, despite being brilliant, didnít spot that the murderer was, quite obviously, the man she didnít suspect.

All three films were grimly competent. The seaside in Hawaii looked endearing, if disappointingly lacking in grass-skirted maidens; the animated dog was almost as revolting as a living canine; and the French-Canadian detectives in Taking Lives looked authentically dumbstruck at the incompetence of their heroine, played by a Miss Angelina Jolie.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 11, 2004 10:49 PM | TrackBack